Poppy doughnuts stir debate
Some call idea disrespectful
A Remembrance Day idea from a Tim Hortons employee had some concerned that proceeds weren’t initially going back to local veterans groups.
But now the vets are getting their due. Over the weekend, an employee at a Tim Hortons in Calgary had pitched the idea of a doughnut decorated as a poppy — a gesture deemed fitting in the lead up to Remembrance Day.
“We didn’t do it with the intention of making a profit on it,” said Tim Hortons location manager Reynan Amon.
“One of my team members just suggested, ‘Why don’t we get a poppy doughnut to remember the veterans,’ and I thought it was a good idea.”
One person, who brought the concern to Metro after it was circulated by Calgary social-media maven Crackmacs, felt the display and sale of the doughnuts was out of line. The tipster wanted to remain anonymous because of a connection to the franchise.
“Personally, I felt it was disrespectful … considering all of the hard work and the pain and the suffering that went into giving us the freedom we have,” they said.
Amon did say that the location prominently displays the poppy donation box at its front counter, and should the poppy doughnuts cause a stir he would have them removed. He said neither customers nor Tim Hortons corporate office has asked they be removed.
John Rathwell CD, general manager for the Calgary Poppy Fund and Veterans Food Bank, said that, good gesture aside, the poppy is a trademark-protected symbol for the Dominion Command of the Royal Canadian Legion and permission is required for its use.
“I’d be the first person to shake that (employee’s) hand to say thank you for thinking of this during this time of remembrance,” said Rathwell.
“At the same time … it’s a sacred symbol in this part of remembrance that only runs for a week and a half a year.”
In this case, Rathwell said public perception is often where the fine line is drawn on these marketing opportunities — whether or not people see that something is being done with the proceeds to help local veterans.
Tim Hortons responded late Wednesday, saying the restaurant owner will be matching and donating 100 per cent of the poppy doughnut proceeds to the Royal Canadian Legion.
These poppy doughnuts at a calgary Tim Hortons are raising eyebrows online.